Medieval Monday

I hope you’ve all enjoyed meeting the authors who take part in Medieval Monday and discovering why we love the period so much.  We’re taking a break while we organise a new round of exciting excerpts to be starting in August.  Look out for the next theme which we’ll be announcing soon.

I don’t want to leave you with nothing to read so I thought I’d share an excerpt from The Blacksmith’s Wife where we see the brothers together for the first time along with Joanna, the heroine who marries Hal.  If you want to know what happens to Roger and who he finds happiness with you’ll have to wait until August to read his story in Redeeming the Rogue Knight

Dany brothers NA covers.

Sir Roger frowned. ‘What are you doing in the camp? I did not expect to see you until tonight at the earliest.’ His face relaxed into a smile as he drew her arm under his and led her back towards his tent, regaling her with an account of the tournament she had just witnessed. She pushed her thoughts of the stranger to the back of her mind.

Sir Roger pushed back the curtain covering his tent doorway and ushered Joanna inside. He tossed his page a coin.

‘Go buy yourself some sweetmeats.’

The boy ambled off, leaving them alone. Sir Roger pulled Joanna to him, his hands at either side of her waist.

‘I’m surprised at you coming here alone.’ His voice was stern but the glint in his eye told Joanna he was far from disapproving. His eyes took on a hungry expression. ‘You’re usually so modest, too.’

Joanna glanced at the doorway but Sir Roger did not appear to notice her uneasiness. He lunged to kiss her. His lips scraped against hers and his hands began to slide from her waist downwards to spread across her hips. Joanna stiffened. This was the first time they had been completely alone and Sir Roger’s behaviour was more forceful than she had expected. The guards’ mocking words whispered in Joanna’s mind.

She wriggled from Sir Roger’s arms.  ‘I brought you a gift,’ she said hastily to hide her unease. She rummaged into her bag until she produced a cloth-wrapped bundle.

Sir Roger unwrapped it eagerly, revealing an ornately decorated belt buckle.  ‘Your uncle made this?’ he asked, holding it to the light.

Joanna nodded and rubbed her fingers lovingly over the incised leaves. ‘Though I chased the pattern myself.’

Sir Roger took her hands and drew her close. ‘It’s beautiful. You’ll be a worthy heir to your uncle’s business.’

Joanna blushed with pleasure at the compliment but laughed. ‘His heir? Not I. He has a son now. But of course, it’s been months since you were in York. You wouldn’t know my aunt’s child was a boy.’

‘What good fortune for your uncle,’ Roger said.

‘Perhaps you might congratulate him in person tonight and speak to him about other matters,’ Joanna began shyly.

‘That could be time I spend in your company instead,’ Sir Roger murmured. ‘There’s no rush, is there?’ His hands began moving over her body, one down towards her buttocks, the other sliding towards her breast. He kissed her, his tongue attempting to part her lips. Joanna’s brow wrinkled. This was the very limit of acceptable behaviour before they were married. She began to shift away from his reach, turning so she stood between him and the doorway.

A cold draught blew around her neck and a deep, familiar voice spoke.

‘Roger, it strikes me…’

Sir Roger released her abruptly and stepped back. Joanna turned slowly around to face the speaker, heart sinking as she saw who stood behind her.

The man she had met before stood in the doorway, his hands outstretched in apology. ‘I’m sorry. I saw your boy wandering off. I didn’t know you would have company.’

He did not sound contrite in the least. When his eyes fell on Joanna they held her gaze and his lips twitched. Sir Roger gave a long sigh of annoyance. Joanna’s eyes flickered from man to man.

‘Mistress Sollers, permit me to introduce my brother, Henry Danby,’ Sir Roger said in a clipped tone.

Joanna’s jaw dropped. ‘You never told me you had a brother!’ she said.

‘Half-brother,’ the man said curtly, glancing at Sir Roger.

‘Did I never mention Hal?’ Roger said carelessly. ‘I suppose not. He’s been travelling around the country. Our paths have barely crossed in the past three years,’

Joanna stared in wonder from Sir Roger to his brother and back again. Conscious she was staring at the new arrival, Joanna curtsied. ‘Good day to you, Sir Henry.’

‘Just Hal if you please. I’m no sir.’

‘Hal and I share the same father but we have different mothers,’ Sir Roger explained.

Half-brothers. That made sense. They were too close in age to make any other explanation possible.

‘What Roger means is I’m a bastard,’ Henry added with a humourless smile. He lifted his jaw and crossed his arms, as though daring Joanna to confront him. ‘Though my father did me the kindness of acknowledging me as his. Many would not.’

Taken aback at the harshness of his voice, Joanna stared at him. When they had met before he had seemed good-humoured, for all his mocking words, but his sudden fierceness was unnerving. His brow was knotted and his eyes dark. For a moment silence hung awkwardly between them as all three stood motionless saying nothing.

Side by side the brothers were not so alike after all. They were of equal height and stature and both had hair the colour of a crow’s wing but Sir Roger’s was swept back and tied neatly at his nape. He wore a short, neatly trimmed beard while his brother’s hair fell forward in careless tangles to a jaw rough with stubble.

The resemblance was strongest about the eyes: deep brown, flecked with green and ringed with long lashes set into faces tanned from a life spent outside.

The Blacksmith’s Wife  is available now and Redeeming the Rogue Knight  can be preordered.

Medieval Monday Introducing Ashley York

For my final author on Medieval Monday I’d like to introduce Ashley York to explain why she loves writing Medieval Romance.

Ashley York graphic

Where History takes a passionate turn says it all! My medieval stories take place in the 11th and 12th century, the High Middle Ages. I love the fact that survival was not guaranteed and life was not easy. Babies died, food was fought over, and enemies were everywhere. This lends itself to creating complex characters that live life to the fullest, seeking satisfaction in all their pursuits whether it be in warfare or love, while knowing how brief there time may be. That equals passion! The fact that they live in a Christian society adds restraint to their decisions while they struggle with the many things, seen and unseen, and their pagan past hovers over them like a storm cloud.

This is an amazing time period where universities were just coming into prominence, empires were being established, and human ingenuity was on the upswing. I write my characters without an eye toward the outcome of history. Just because we know William of Normandy will conquer the Kingdoms of England in 1066 doesn’t mean we have to act like the Saxons were ripe for an invasion. Just the opposite! Let’s extol their strength and unity and their proud, though diverse, heritage. Let’s not give the ending away!

Aside from two years spent in the wilds of the Colorado mountains, Ashley York is a proud life-long New Englander and a hardcore romantic. She has an MA in History which brings with it, through many years of research, a love for primary documents and the smell of musty old libraries. With her author’s imagination, she likes to write about people who could have lived alongside those well-known giants from the past.

Find all my books at: https://www.ashleyyorkauthor.com/books

Ashley is my final guest.  Come back next week to discover our exciting new theme.

Medieval Monday with Mary Morgan

It’s alliteration week here as I’ve got Mary Morgan joining me for Medieval Monday to tell us why she likes writing Medieval romance.

I’ve often been asked this question, “Why Medieval romance? Why not Regency, Victorian, or Western?” In truth, I love them all, but my heart belongs to one. It started when my fingers opened a book about the great Irish King, Brian Boru (941-1014A.D.). His story is legendary, especially with the people of Ireland. King Brian led the Irish to the peak of their Golden Age—from poetry, arts, saints, and scholars. A spark ignited within my soul for more.

I sought out tales of knights in shining armor and folk heroes, delving into a life teeming with richness, though at times harsh and violent. Yet, it wasn’t until I devoured the history of Brian Boru that I became immersed in medieval life. From there, I treasured tales of life in castles, traveling on horseback, studying foods and herbs. My list is endless and always growing on medieval ways. Yes, there are even days when I long to travel back in time and explore the history, lore, and beliefs.

Therefore, when it came time to pen my own stories, it only made sense for me to place them all in a medieval setting. One might say I live vicariously through my characters. It’s a love affair with all things medieval.  

 

For more about my stories, please visit my book page: http://www.marymorganauthor.com/books

Mary Morgan graphic

Author Bio:

Award-winning Scottish paranormal romance author, Mary Morgan, resides in Northern California, with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return.
Mary’s passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. She spent far too much time daydreaming and was told quite often to remove her head from the clouds. It wasn’t until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling–writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories.

 

 

Medieval Monday- Introducing Barbara Bettis

We;come back to another Medieval Monday.  Here with me today is Barbara Bettis to tell us why she loves writing Medievals.

Barbara Bettis graphic

I’m not sure what calls to me so strongly from the Middle Ages, but whatever it is, has done so my entire life. I think it may be rooted in the stories I devoured when I first started reading. Myths, folk stories from different cultures, tales of Knights of the Round Table, they all captured my imagination. It was a different, fascinating world where anything was possible—in theory. Throughout school, history was a favorite subject, and I loved to delve into the events—and lives of the people—of the past. 

As I did so, I recognized that the knightly tales of derring do from my childhood were set amidst times of turmoil, deprivation of the many and reward of the few. I usually root for the underdog, so when my studies introduced me to mercenaries and the bad reputation many of them enjoyed (and they probably did enjoy them), I immediately thought, “But they all must not have been bad. What of the ones who fought to better themselves and didn’t practice cruelty?” 

Life was not easy for most people. In the eyes of society at that time, bettering oneself usually meant acquiring land. Few folks had the means or opportunity to do so. Later in the Medieval period, landed-society’s restrictions didn’t allow for commoners to aspire to knighthood, except for very limited exceptions. But in the earlier days, it wasn’t all that unusual for a commoner to rise by reason of bravery, strength, and audacity. All but one of my stories have featured such mercenaries who strive to better themselves by acquiring power and land. 

All my stories feature strong women, not at all the norm of the period. Yet discoveries tell us there were more strong women than we realize, although most of them were wed or in the church. I imbue my heroines with strength of character given the times in which they lived.

I love creating the stories of strong heroines we women would like to be and of heroes we’d love to live for.

More about Barbara

Barbara Bettis grew up in the rural Midwest, where reading was a reward for chores well done. So you can bet she did her chores well—and fast. She loved history and English. She’d intended to major in English, but when she arrived at her small, Liberal Arts college, one of the European history professors was on a Rhodes Scholarship. Once she met the English professors, she defected.

Thus, she received her BA in English with a strong minor in history and her Master’s in English. After working as a newspaper reporter and editor, Barb returned to college and taught English and journalism, later earning a doctorate in Higher Education with an emphasis in journalism.

After her husband died, some former students lured her into their critique group, where she began writing fiction. A trip to Scotland and England solidified her love of the Isles (the small tour group set up a ‘Barb’s Castle Alert’ on their train journeys). Her earlier fascination with the Middle Ages led her into her medieval stories, where she’s been roaming around ever since.

Now that she’s retired from teaching, her ambition is to write an angst-ridden, tortured hero set in the High Middle Ages, but somehow her guys end up with inappropriate senses of humor. Perhaps in the future…

Visit Barbara at http://www.barbarabettis.blogspot.com

Redeeming the Rogue Knight

Reviewing the Rogue Knight.

I’ve been sending out ARCs and this weekend Roger got his first review.

Hilarymackelden's Blog

DCTl41uXoAAISpfI was given an advanced copy of this book and, since I’ve enjoyed Elisabeth Hobbes’ work before, I sat down with my cocoa, looking forward to the first couple of chapters before bed.

At 2.30am, I turned the last page, satisfied with the way the book ended and assured that I’d at last be able to sleep, without wondering what would happen next.

Sir Roger Danby is a bad boy. A player who thinks women are there for his – and their – pleasure. He’s a bit of a bully, too, arrogant and, I have to say, not the most likeable of men. Yet, I felt strangely drawn to him, wanting to know more, hoping he would come good in the end.

His constant innuendo was very real, reminiscent of oh, so many men one encounters. They think they’re witty. We women roll our eyes.

However, there was a certain…

View original post 194 more words

Medieval Monday- Meet Cathy MacRae

Monday comes round fast doesn’t it! Today I’d like to introduce Cathy MacRae to tell us why she loves writing Medieval Romance.

Cathy MacRae graphic

Romance in a Kilt

Welcome to my world of Medieval Romance! I have always been drawn to historical romance, and love re-reading some of the first books that welcomed me to that special time and place. Books by Kathleen Woodiwiss and Judith McNaught still hold much-loved places on my bookshelves right alongside more current favorites. They are a whirlwind of drama, passion, and promise, where trust is everything, and sometimes love develops in the most unusual places.

I am intrigued by history. The what-ifs and whys; the research into the actions of a few people who set the course for many. You will find often gritty history coloring the background of all of my stories.

My books in the Medieval Era are a blend of high drama and romance set against a backdrop of treachery, hardship and duty. And in a time when women were stronger than history tells us, and marriage was rarely for sigh-worthy reasons, I find it fascinating to relate stories of relationships that blossom into love.

Cathy MacRae is an Amazon best-selling author whose stories feature strong heroes and feisty heroines set in the Highlands of Scotland. Her hobbies include gardening, photography, travel and cooking. Cathy lives on the sunny side of the Arbuckle Mountains with her wonderful husband, three dogs and a cat (who runs the house), and enjoys spending time with sweet granddaughters who are the heroines of her heart.

You can find Cathy MacRae’s books on her website at http://www.cathymacraeauthor.com

Meet Roger- cover reveal

I love getting covers through. There’s always a slight anxiety that the model or scene won’t resemble anything in the book but so far (Saxon’s black hair aside) I’ve been very pleased with mine.

The cover for Redeeming the Rogue Knight was particularly important because it was my first book that was linked to a previous one through a character.  We’ve already met the hero Roger in The Blacksmith’s Wife as he was Joanna’s original crush (boo, hiss).  His brother Hal was on the cover of that book so I made it clear when I filled in the Art Fact Sheet that I was hoping for someone with a family resemblance.  Here’s what they gave me.

RTRK NA cover

The story starts with Roger and his companion leaving a nobleman’s house around dawn.  Judging by the colour of the sky it’s pretty early and he certainly looks like he’s checking he isn’t being followed.

‘Roger finished dressing rapidly in his thickly padded jerkin and travelling cloak and reached for his sword. He cast a final look around the room in case they had forgotten anything before leading the way to the kitchens where he knew there was a door that would be unguarded. Making friends with the maidservant was proving to have a benefit he had not anticipated and they were able to creep out without being spotted and make their way to the stables.

In silence, they wrapped sacking around their horses’ hooves and shouldered their saddles. The animals snickered in protest at the early start and Roger paused to run his hand across the rough winter coat of the chestnut courser. They led their mounts around the edge of the courtyard. Fortune was on their side as they passed through the gateway without notice.’

Have you spotted the anachronism? It was the second thing I saw (right after I’d stopped admiring Roger’s arms) but most people admitted they never got past looking at Roger.  Anyway, I’m very happy with it and I think the covers make a lovely pair.

I can definitely see a family resemblance, can you?

Dany brothers NA covers.

 

Redeeming the Rogue Knight is out in August (print) and September (ebook) and is available to preorder viewBook.at/RogueKnight

The Blacksmith’s Wife is still available if you want to discover his backstory myBook.to/BlacksmithWife

 

Medieval Monday- Meet Ruth A. Casie

Welcome back to another Medieval Monday.    It’s time to discover why Ruth A. Casie Writes Historicals

Ruth Casie graphic

Years ago when I worked for a large bank I did a lot of international business travel. I can remember my first overseas assignment very clearly. It was a two week trip to five European cities. I brought six paperbacks thinking I would catch up on my reading—there was never enough time to read at home. We had three small children. Settled in my seat, I finished a book and a half by the time I landed in Brussels.

Client calls with local bank directors filled my days, but after business hours and over the weekend I was on my own. I filled the time with walking tours, sometimes in groups other times using the track provided by the hotel. Each time I came face to face with history; the Grand Place in Brussels, the Place de la Concorde in Paris, and Hampton Court in England.

As I went on to the different cities I tried to hear the sounds, smell the aromas, and see the sights from a different perspective, a different time. Stories by Julie Garwood, Jude Deveraux, Johanna Lindsey and Lynn Kurland had me enthralled along with Clive Cussler. I know he’s not exactly romance but his Dirk Pit stories always start with some historical fact or thread that’s crucial to solving the mystery. I read my books at night and visited places where I imagined the stories unfolding.

Historical facts mixed with chivalry and magic are the most compelling stories to me. The romance of the middle ages with knights and princesses and their myths of druids, fairies, and fae tossed in for good measure all drew me in. Time travel stories and the ability to visit the past, protect the future, or simply experience a different time were the most compelling stories. Personally, I want my fiction based on fact but I don’t necessarily want the cold truth of reality. I know that history doesn’t always end with a happily ever after but taking a little poetic license to alter history just a bit to make it all work out is what I enjoy reading—and writing.

 

Ruth A. Casie, a USA Today Bestselling Author, writes historical fantasy and contemporary romances for Harlequin, Carina Press, and Timeless Scribes. Before she found her voice, she was a speech therapist (pun intended), client liaison for a corrugated manufacturer, and international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing romance. When not writing you can find her home in Teaneck, NJ, reading, cooking, doing Sudoku and counted cross stitch. You can reach her at www.RuthACasie.com , and join her newsletter, on Twitter @RuthACasie, at her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/RuthACasie or at Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/ruthacasie/

Sherry Ewing on Medieval Monday

Welcome to another ‘meet the author’ on Medieval Monday.  Today I’m welcoming Sherry Ewing to tell us why she loves Medieval romance.

My love for everything Medieval began with the very first historical romance novel I ever picked up as a teenager. For many of us, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss paved the way for the type of novels that would overflow my bookshelves for many years to come. Then I stumbled across a hard copy of Jude Deveraux’s A Knight in Shining Armor, and my fate was sealed. It was only natural that when it came to writing my own novels years later that I would write a historical romance. Since I began my writing career later in life, I am lucky to be able to do any type of research on the internet. Knights in shining armor, damsels in distress, knights breaking down the walls of a keep, and then sometimes throw in a modern day woman who has fallen through time and a series was born. I can’t help but constantly say I was born in the wrong century and continent.

Although I do also write Regency era romances, my true passion lies with my Knights of Berwyck in the12th century. I can still remember the day when I was just about finished with my very first manuscript. The image of a castle sitting high upon a cliff came into my mind. Before I knew what was happen, I had all these characters forming, along with my plot, and I had to tell them to take a back seat while I finished my current book. Yes it’s true… author’s really do have voices inside their heads! My characters continue to battle inside my heading wanting their turn at having their story told, sometimes even keeping me up at night when we could have had such conversations during the day. Medieval’s, time travel, and Regency era novels… all with a happily ever after all to awaken the soul one heart at a time!

Sherry Ewing graphic

Bio: Sherry Ewing is a bestselling author who writes historical and time travel romances to awaken the soul one heart at a time. Her debut historical romance, If My Heart Could See You, hit Amazon’s top ten bestseller list for the eBook only two days after the paperback release. Always wanting to write a novel but busy raising her children, she finally took the plunge in 2008 and wrote her first Regency. She is a national and local member of Romance Writers of America, The Beau Monde and The Bluestocking Belles. She is currently working on her next novel. When Sherry is not busy writing, she can be found in the San Francisco area at her day job as an Information Technology Specialist.

 

You can learn more about Sherry on her website at www.SherryEwing.com.

Amazon Author page: http://amzn.to/1TrWtoy

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